“Good night, Andy.”
That’s it. That’s all we get out of Mark Hamill (at the very end of the trailer, of course) after this stupidly long succession of teases following the announcement that he would be voicing the serial-killing doll for the Child’s Play reboot. We then had an image that showed just a glimmer of Chucky’s shadowed face, and then there was a teaser for the trailer--and there’s even a little collage of quick actions and screams to tease the trailer right before you watch the trailer, like between the time that you clicked the Child’s Play trailer and started the physical act of watching it, you forgot just what you were doing. At this point I won’t be surprised if “Good night, Andy” are the words Chucky says right before the credits roll, and then we have to wait for a sequel to see what he really sounds like.
I am very unhappy. I was looking forward to hearing a one-liner, a “You bitch!” or something. I know this is a remake, and it seems like he’s not going to be a potty-mouthed gangster, but still. I wanted something. This is just a hair from nothing. I guess this is my fault for expecting a trailer to do a bit more than the bare minimum when it seems marketers think that the best way to make people excited is to give them almost nothing. The hype industry is killing my hype.
Casting my bitterness aside for a moment, it does sound like Hamill will be taking a more child-like approach to the voice. It sounds more cutesy and clean. There’s a slight edge, though, which works with this doll’s baby-face contorting into an Uncanny Valley smirk to give us some sinister heebie jeebies. And it all seems to work to create an effectively creepy presence. I never expected the one true Joker to do a bad job; I just wanted to hear more from him. I’ll just have to drink my disappointment away, as always.
The rest of the trailer, however, leaves me a bit confused about whether Child’s Play is going to be as scary as I think it wants to be. The idea of a tech-filled smart-doll that can control other electronics right up to someone’s car is a neat idea that I’m interested to see play out. There are more than enough real-life stories of hacked electronics and the horrors of how much data can be mined from things like the Amazon Alexa to send a chill down anyone’s spine, so I’m cool that instead of going voodoo-bound-murderer’s-soul this Child’s Play will aim more for some kind of possible malfunction that causes the doll to misbehave, and perhaps our Buddi Chuck won’t be the only of his kind throwing knives. It’s a solid satire angle that I very much appreciate.
On the other hand, it has a doll with a kitchen knife stabbing a man wrapped in Christmas lights to death while “Let me tell you about my best friend” plays on loop in the background, and I’m not feeling any sort of fear. It’s only a trailer--and I’m sure a red-band one will soon follow that will demonstrate more of the horror imagery--so it’s hard to say whether or not this will be able to thread the line between humor and horror when it hits theaters.
Child’s Play also stars Aubrey Plaza and will release on June 21, 2019.